Brazil approves regulations, Ecuador president pushes to legalize, Curaçao unveils digital seal
Brazil's Chamber of Deputies has granted final approval to regulate the market in 2024, Ecuador's president is pushing for a referendum on casino legalization, and Curaçao has launched a special digital seal for online casinos operating under the new license.
Brazil has finally regulated its gambling market
Brazil's Chamber of Deputies has passed a final decision to regulate gambling, marking an important step in the development of the country's gambling laws. The approval follows the passage of Bill 3.626/2023, which not only regulates sports betting but also allows gambling.
The law was approved after a vigorous debate in a plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies. Members of Brazil's evangelical political bloc attempted to reject the proposal, expressing their concerns about the possible harmful effects of a regulated gambling sector. Their opponents, on the other hand, argued that regulating the industry represented a more rational approach, legitimizing it and ensuring safety for all participants.
Now that the bill has been approved by the Chamber of Deputies, it will be passed to the office of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for final approval. All the tax proposals submitted by the Economic Affairs Commission on November 22 were also approved.
It is forecasted that in the next three years, the revenues from the Brazilian sports betting and online casino market will exceed 100 billion Brazilian reals ($200,404,737). This revenue is expected to be primarily generated through tourism.
Ecuadorian government making strides to legalize gambling
Since 2011, Ecuador has banned the operation of bingo halls and casinos. However, there has been uncertainty regarding online platforms, leading to the development of a gray market.
For a country where the future of the gambling sector seemed uncertain, the proposals of President Daniel Noboa have brought a bit of optimism. A few weeks ago, in January of this year, the president submitted 11 questions to the Constitutional Court for a referendum among the country's residents, the latest of which concerns public opinion on the operation of casinos, bingos and betting companies.
The referendum results could lead to a repeal of the ban imposed by ex-president Rafael Correa. In 2011, Correa justified the ban, stating that its purpose was to create a “healthier environment” for the young generation and to protect families from the financial losses associated with the “vice of gambling.”
There are also economic reasons in favor of removing the ban: it is estimated that about 25,000 positions have been lost at 160 gambling halls across the country. Proponents of eliminating the ban argue that it will create new job opportunities and increase tax revenues, which in turn will help reduce growing income inequality across the country.
The anticipated referendum was originally scheduled in March, but it may be postponed due to the urgent need to stabilize the situation in the country. In the context of a national crisis, the fate of the gambling sector continues to be subject to broader uncertainties related to the internal conflict and its possible impact on the economy.
Curaçao has launched a digital seal
As of January 1, 2024, a special digital seal will be introduced for online casinos holding a Curaçao license. The Gambling Control Board (GCB) developed this digital stamp to prevent online casinos from attempting to falsely represent themselves as Curaçao license holders. Permit holders place this digital seal on their website so players can immediately see that it is a license holder. An official press release from the Ministry of Finance reports that not every sublicense holder will be able to use the digital seal. It will be granted exclusively to providers who have successfully completed the registration procedure on the Gambling Control Board (GCB) portal.
There are certain conditions that apply when placing a digital print on a website. For example, an online casino is required to place it on the homepage of its website. In addition, the print must be easily visible to the human eye. Reducing the size of the seal or making it impossible to understand by overlaying text on top of it is strictly prohibited.
All suppliers who have not yet completed the registration process on the portal are not allowed to use the digital seal, even if they have a sub-license. According to the terms and conditions, they are also prohibited from making it appear that they meet these criteria.